Monday, July 12, 2021

Launch of Community Champions scheme will offer vital support to those hardest hit by the pandemic


  • Council secures £200,000 in funding for community scheme
  • West Lancs CVS will coordinate project
  • COVID support and information will be delivered to the heart of our communities

Following its successful bid to The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, West Lancashire Borough Council is pleased to announce the launch of the Community Champions scheme to help those who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is being delivered by West Lancs CVS who worked in partnership with the Council to create this important initiative.  The Community Champions project is a one-year scheme which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19 and to reduce health inequalities locally. The scheme will also bring investment into the local voluntary sector with new grant funding now available.

From the funding allocation of £200,000, grants ranging from £1,000 - £25,000 are now available to voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations to support the work they’re doing in helping communities impacted by COVID-19.

The focus is on organisations working with or supporting vulnerable groups in West Lancashire and the grants must be used to reduce isolation, improve health and wellbeing and to help people recover from the impact the pandemic has had on their life and community.

Councillor Gareth Dowling, portfolio holder for Communities and Community Safety, said: "I'm delighted the Council has secured this funding that will allow us to work in partnership with West Lancs CVS to deliver this important project. 

"Not only will it help ensure the correct information about COVID-19 is getting to the heart of our communities, it will also directly support those who have been affected by this pandemic in a variety of ways and as restrictions ease over the next weeks and months, this work will be more important than ever."

"We need to make sure the people of the Borough have all of the information they need to make the right decisions when it comes to keeping themselves safe and that they are aware of the different ways they can get support if they need it  -  this project will be vital in helping us do that.  I'd also like to thank Council officers for all the hard work undertaken to secure the funding."

A recruitment drive is currently taking place for Community Champion volunteers who will work within their communities across West Lancashire to support on-going grassroots efforts to keep people safe.  These volunteers will play a key role in cascading the information supplied by WLBC and West Lancs CVS through their networks of family, friends, and associated organisations.  Community Champions can also help to deliver practical help to those in need in their local area or to work within a West Lancashire organisation to help enhance their vital work further.

In addition to this, West Lancs CVS will be researching and producing a local directory of voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups working throughout the Borough. This will be available on their website later in the year to help provide access to information on the many key activities and services delivered by the voluntary sector.

For more information on the Community Champions scheme, including the grants available, go to:  www.wlcvs/community-champions or phone 01695-733737 or email